Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sweet Little Reminders...

Children are a gift from the Lord....

Every Sunday night I get to hang out with a few of my favorite friends. technically I babysit them but we have so much fun. We play dress-up, have sword fights, play candyland, read, and many other exciting things. Tonight..I walked in the door and was greeted by screams. They were all saying, "Hey!! I didn't know you were coming tonight! Hurry up! Come play!" They make me feel so loved. :) I know the above picture makes me look like a great babysitter. :) What can I say...I had four tonight and turned around for one second and she was in the cabinet. Naturally, I had to take a picture.
These two are inseparable.

She was a ballerina tonight...

Sorry it's so blurry..I didn't have a camera so the iPhone had to do. The quality of the picture doesn't take away any of their cuteness though...
I am so thankful that their parents entrust me to take care of them...They take so much of my stress away during those brief times I get to spend with them!

I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend. Mine consisted of watching Brett coach, lesson plans, homework, and Miss America. Saturday night was great. Brett and I got to see my best friend and her husband (still weird to say :) ). They were in town visiting so we went and had dinner with them.

I'll be back tomorrow to update you on my book of choice for January! I have a little more to read tonight before bed....

Sleep tight...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It's All About Attitude

So today was one of those days that started off not so great but then ended up being fabulous! Honestly, it probably didn't need to be stressful but I have this new thing where I stress myself out and put far more pressure on myself than I really should. I know. I know. Not so smart. Thankfully, I have sweet friends and family who step right in and feed me truth and pray for me! I am so grateful for them. I constantly kept trying to remember in Psalms where it says, "Cast all your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you..." (Psalm 55:22)

The rest of my day was so great. After the initial unnecessary stress in my first class I had three more. How is this good? Well, in case you didn't know or couldn't tell..I LOVE my major. Really I do. No, class isn't always fun and I cannot wait to graduate but overall, I really do enjoy my classes and try to soak up all that I can in them. I have amazing teachers who are passionate about what they do which probably helps. After class I went to the intramural fields and walked with my sweet friend Julie. I love the time that I get to spend with her. What an incredible encouragement she is to my life. Now, I am sitting in bed, listening to worship music, blogging. :) What a perfect end to the day. I was looking through some pictures from Christmas that I was just now able to load on my computer because of "technical difficulties." Most are of obviously I have like over 200 and it takes forever to edit each one. Here are just a few that I love....
I mean seriously.....precious.
I love this. She loves to be rocked by her daddy. It is so fun to see Eric and Lindsey with Virginia. They are such great parents...

Jimpa and Lili

I know you are thinking you have never seen anything more's true. :)
On that note...I am off to bed.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Tribute to a Wonderful Woman

Monday..Monday...Monday...I have to say, I am normally not bothered by them but today Monday and I just did not agree. I did not feel well. Classes were long and crazy. Things didn't go just how "I thought" they should have (that is probably the first problem... :) Will I ever just learn that the Lord is in control?)

I have to ended up being a great afternoon/evening....except that I will be asleep by 10:30 after planning to be in bed at 9. Oh well....

Today was my mom's birthday. She is so amazing. Really, I can truly say that she is a woman whose example I desire to follow because she follows Christ. We had such a fun night. Amy, mom, Julie, and I all went to Felix's and had dinner together. It was nice to have a night with the girls and celebrate this wonderful day!
She is the most sincere, humble, gracious, giving, loving, honest, faithful, wonderful woman I know. No, she is not Jesus :) but she sure does strive to pursue holiness in all that she does. I am so grateful that the Lord blessed me with an example like her. I can say with complete honesty that she has the character of a Proverbs 31 woman.

"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her; 'Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.' Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate."
Proverbs 31:25-31

Those verses are so true of her. I only hope to be half the mother, wife, and friend that she is.

Sorry this is so short...I have an early day and it is way past my bedtime!

Friday, January 22, 2010

An Inspiration

Happy Friday! Yay! Weekends are going to be what I long for this semester..I can already tell. I am having early days every single day except for Friday. This is definitely preparing me for the rest of my life as a teacher :) I was back at my school this week and it was so great to see those smiling fourth graders again. I loved being back. This week was actually really good but definitely was tiring. Only about fourteen more to go. I know that doesn't seem like many but I am sure that this time will drag on....

Can I just say that the weather outside was beautiful today! I went for a run and it was so good to run outside again. The weather made me wish it was summer so badly. I love the cold weather but I definitely am more of a summer girl. I especially love running when it is really hot outside which is crazy I know. Needless to say...hurry up summer! :)

Anyways, so a couple of months ago I came across a blog about a girl who is my age and lives in Uganda. Katie went to Uganda for the first time in 2006 and God put it on her heart to start a child sponsorhip program, matching orphaned children who are unable to afford schooling with sponsors anywhere in the world. Katie began Amazima ministry. I am so encouraged my her and all that she has done. I have been following her blog for only a few weeks but love reading her stories. Pray for her. I am the same age as her and cannot imagine taking on all that she has taken on in the last few years of her life. She has fourteen adorable little girls living with her in Uganda. 21 years old...mother of fourteen plus more on some days. Her servants heart and willing spirit is so encouraging to me. She has inspired me and I would encourage you to pray for her.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, January 18, 2010

So Much Joy

This past weekend was great. I was able to relax a bit and we had today off from school. Starting tomorrow....busy, busy, busy. Anyways, Friday was dads birthday so we celebrated that with family. I love my dad. He is truly the most amazing father. He is such an example to me. He just recently became the teaching leader for the evening men's BSF class. BSF is Bible Study Fellowship. This ministry began many years ago. It is a weekly Bible study that now involves men, women, and children all over the world. My mom began doing BSF about 12 years ago and it has truly transformed her heart and life which has been transforming our family as well. Now that my dad is beginning and evening mens class I can only imagine what this is going to do for the city of Mobile. My dad's obedience to the Lord and his walk is so encouraging to me. He is the most selfless and giving man I know and I am so thankful for him!

Saturday I spent the day doing homework with Brett. We also ran errands and attempted to give blood. Brett was successful...I, however, was unable to give blood. My poor little arms don't have many great veins. The nurse did not feel comfortable sticking me. Oh well. I will try again! :) Saturday night Brett and I went on a date.
I swear we don't take pictures every single time we go had just been too long since we had taken a good one so I figured..why not! I just love him!

Tonight, just like every Monday night, I got to spend it with this precious little girl. Well, she would hate knowing I called her precious....we'll just call her cool! :)
I know...she is great! I love hanging out with this 6...almost 7 year old!

As I drove out to pick her up I was driving way out. Not exactly the country but was beautiful out there and I couldn't resist taking a quick picture. Sorry for the not so great quality...
Seeing this is just a reminder of how great our God is! I have been learning so much lately. First of all, I am constantly reminded that I am a huge sinner and Christ is a huge Savior. When I was studying in John yesterday I came across something I had never really noticed or thought about before. John 11:9 says,
"Are there not twelve hours of daylight? A man who walks by day will not stumble, for he sees by this world's light. It is when he walks by night that he stumbles, for he has no light."
This verse spoke to me. "Day" is referring to the knowledge of Gods will and reliance on His guidance. "Night" is talking about our own self-reliance. If I am walking with complete reliance on Him and His Word, I am not going to stumble. I really needed to hear that. So often I think I rely on myself and I know I shouldn't. He is a definitely a much firmer foundation to stand on. I pray that I constantly remember that truth!

Well, back to my fourth graders tomorrow. I am definitely excited even though it is going to be an early morning! :) Until later....Goodnight!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Bedtime Blog

It is exactly 9:00 p.m. and I am sitting in bed about to do a little reading and hit the hay. I am officially an old lady. School started back this week and I realize that the later nights I was able to enjoy on my Christmas break are no longer going to happen. 8 a.m. classes on Mondays and Wednesdays and field experience at 7:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Good news? I was not nearly as stressed as I was last semester on the first day of classes. I am looking forward to this being my last semester of classes. It doesn't seem like it will be too bad either! Thank You Lord!

Other than school not much excitement around. I have been going through the book of John during this school year and it has been so great. I am learning so much. Today I was in John 10 where it talks about Jesus being the good Shepherd. I love this passage. It talks about how the sheep listen to the Shepherd's voice and they follow him. They wouldn't follow a stranger because they do not know him.
"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me--just as the Father knows me and I know the Father--and I lay down my life for the sheep." -John 10: 14-15

I pray that I know my Shepherd's voice and follow Him wholeheartedly. I pray that I will be aware of those false shepherd's and be so close to the true Shepherd that I will seek Him.

Goodnight all :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Football Frenzy

So...over the break I experienced lots and lots of football and even went to a couple of games. For Christmas I gave Brett tickets to see the Falcons. Let me just say, I have always enjoyed football. I always liked going to high school football games and would watch college football. Professional football was never really something I enjoyed...but have I mentioned that Brett is a P.E. major and wants to coach football one day. Having said this...he pretty much loves it. All of it. Every game. It doesn't matter who is playing. It's football. love has grown. I have learned a lot more about it (rules and such). I have not become the fanatic that Brett is but I know he loves it so I couldn't go wrong getting him football tickets for Christmas. He loves the Falcons so I became a Falcon fan for the day. It was our first professional football game to attend and we had a Falcon victory!

The game was so much fun and entertaining..We also went to the Cheesecake Factory after which was delicious!

The second game we attended was the GMAC Bowl. Basically, it was freezing but Brett and I decided to go support our Troy friends. It was so good to see everyone even though we didn't make it to the end of the game!! :)

Love this girl!
Cherish and LJ

Did I mention my beautiful Brazilian friend was there as well? Love you sweet Gabi!

Last of all, in case any of you did not know...Alabama won the national championship on Thursday night! We were all pretty excited around this house...minus Brett. He is an Auburn fan...what do you expect? We try to overlook that flaw! :)

School starts back tomorrow. I have to say...I am looking forward to it being my last semester of actual classes but not quite ready for the craziness that comes along with it. Until then, I am cuddled up on the couch this Sunday afternoon watching a chick flick. 27 Dresses...I will be singing Benny and the Jets for the remainder of the afternoon.
P.S. We'll see how blogging goes once we start school. :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Great Memories and New Beginnings

So, I have to say that 2009 was pretty much great! I have definitely had my ups and downs but overall it was fabulous. I had the privilege of spending three amazing months in Belo Horizonte, Brazil with a great team!
I also met some pretty amazing people while I was there... :)

No...seriously...they were great! I miss them dearly!

I also celebrated a year of being with this amazing guy! He has definitely been one of the greatest blessings that God has given me!

I also celebrated two special days with two of my very best friends! Katherine and Blake got married in August and Colleen and Jason just got married in December. I had the privilege of being part of their special days. Each wedding was different but both girls looked unbelievable and had perfect weddings! Colleen's wedding also gave me the opportunity to travel to Canada which was so much fun! Wish I could share pictures but I still do not have the software on my computer to add my pictures!

Of course, my family and I welcomed the newest member of the Blackman family into this world and have celebrated many of Virginia Louise's "firsts" with her!

Including...her first Christmas! :) She is precious!

There were way more things that happened this year but these were some of the major events!
This past year God taught me so much. I have to say, I definitely learned that God is so faithful even when we are unfaithful. He has blessed us with so much. It makes me think of the verse in James:
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."
-James 1:17
How great it is to know that He does not change.

Now that I am thinking about the next year there are many things that I would love to change. Call them New Year's resolutions....I guess. I've never been one for them but as I think about the last year there are things that I have seen in my life that could be improved and changed.

*I want to be more faithful with my prayer life. I want to be consistent in praying for my family and friends and ask them specific ways that I can pray!

*I want to be more consistent with my time in the Word and with memorizing Scripture!
"I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You."-Psalm 119:11
"Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away." -Matthew 24:35

*I want to read one book a month...I saw this on someone else's resolutions and I think that this is such a great idea and although school is overwhelming and crazy...I believe that this is completely reasonable and beneficial.

*I want to take better care of my body as far as what I put into it with the things that I watch, listen to, read, and eat!

*I will write letters or an encouraging note to someone once every couple of months....not emails or facebook messages. Snail mail!

*I want to remember that my role towards Brett is first and most importantly, his sister in Christ.

*I want to cook more and learn more about it from the best, mom!

*Save money. Give it to those who are in need.

*Blog more consistently...haha. Lets not be too specific. :)

*Be intentional with all that I do and not waste time.

((These are just a few. There are plenty of things that I can be improving on over this next year. Most importantly, I pray that the things of this world will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. I know that this world is full of so much darkness. I pray that I will not be sucked in, but instead will be a light. Thank You Lord for a new year!))

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